UNDATED (CBS) -- The price you pay for cable TV may be on the way down. It could all depend on the outcome of an anti-trust lawsuit Cablevision has filed against media giant Viacom.
Cablevision, one of the largest cable providers in the country, claims Viacom forces it to buy its less popular channels, and that results in higher bills for you.
It's something that cable TV customers have become accustomed to, hundreds of channels to choose from, but not necessarily ones they asked for. But that could soon change because of an anti-trust lawsuit cablevision has filed against Viacom, its main provider of content.
Alex Sherman with Bloomberg TV says, "Cablevision doesn't want to pay for networks that are very low rated. When Viacom does a deal with CableVision, Viacom says you could either get all of our networks together all bundled up into one, or you get none of them."
The suit alleges that Viacom is forcing cablevision to carry and pay for 14 lesser-known channels, in order to carry must-haves like MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.
Cablevision says this practice violates anti-trust laws and is therefore illegal. Antitrust litigator Matthew Cantor says, "That Viacom's bundling practices caused either higher rates that consumers have to pay for their subscriptions, or the inability to access innovative quality programming."
Experts say one of the main drivers behind the case is the growing popularity of streaming services like Apple TV and Netflix- forms of 'a la carte' TV that could soon become the norm. Sherman says, "Cablevision wants a world where it can select only the channels it wants to give to customers not the channels that it doesn't."
Viacom has responded to the suit, saying it offers volume discounts to providers when the channels are taken together.
In a statement, the company said "this is nothing more than a blatant attempt by cablevision to use the courts to renegotiate the terms of a distribution deal reached only two months ago. We are fully confident in our position."
For customers who have only seen their cable bills increase, a win for cablevision could reverse the trend. Sherman says, "It's possible if CableVision wins that your bundle of cable channels will shrink and that may mean that the price of paid TV actually goes down. That's a pretty big deal."
We should note that CBS' parent company CBS Corporation and Viacom have the same majority shareholder.